[podcast flashvars=”transparentpagebg: ‘yes’, titles: ‘Video Listings'”]http://dealeradvantage.cars.com/da/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/Steve_Nolan.mp3[/podcast]
A: As car buyers shop online, video helps you to fully merchandise your listings. Video also makes your ads more dynamic and compelling, encouraging prospects to spend more time in your internet showroom to see what you have available. It can even set you apart from your competitors who rely on static pictures to promote their inventory.
Here are two reasons to include video with your online listings:
1. Generate higher quality prospects. Video allows you to provide shoppers with the information they need to make an informed decision. After taking a virtual test drive, the prospect knows the vehicle’s condition and whether it has the desired features and the required passenger and cargo room. Instead of contacting you to verify these details, car buyers are more likely to call or email to set an appointment. These higher quality prospects already have formed an emotional connection with the car and are closer to making a purchase.
2. Brand your store. Video allows you to promote your store and sell the value of buying from you. With your videos, set the stage for a pleasant shopping experience. Showcase your dealership’s location, contact information and amenities. Share your community reputation, industry recognition and business philosophy. Such details brand your store as professional and customer-oriented; they make it easier for car buyers to take the next step toward a purchase. For consistency and convenience, these messages can be added to each of your videos in standardized segments known as “doughnuts.” Typically appearing before and after the description of the vehicle, they give the video the look and feel of a professionally produced commercial.
Videos can be created quickly and cost-effectively. A number of third-party service providers can help you produce them. Options include full-motion videos that incorporate voiceover narration and background music or a sequence of photos that simulate motion through pan and zoom techniques. Audio is provided through text-to-speech technology or, at additional cost, a live voice-over.
Cars.com, for example, accepts data feeds for its VideoShowcase product from the leading inventory services companies and can work with most dealers’ preferred vendor. Current approved providers include Dealer Specialties, Digital Media Communications, Liquidus, SiSTeR Technologies and UnityWorks! Media.
Online video has proven to be an early success with consumers. Industry studies indicate that dealer adoption of video will grow significantly during the next few years. Fifty-five percent of consumers surveyed in a 2007 Kelsey Group study, for example, visited a business’ website after watching an online video advertisement. Of those visitors, 30 percent went to the company’s store, and 24 percent made a purchase.
To see a demonstration of how video can enhance your listings, click on the “Learn More” link.